Finding your Calling as a Misfit…

This post was inspired by two pieces of work that I came across while catching up on my online readings, and I just felt they resonated with me, and may also with those of you who can relate with the same.

Being out of work, and really evaluating the type of job offers that I have been receiving, I have realized that, it is not just about “employment” anymore. It is about finding my purpose through work.


The Venn diagram is take from an article  by , entitled, “7 lessons about finding the work you were meant to do“. (link below).

One of the phrases in the article really caught on to me:

…In other words, you don’t just “find” your calling — you have to fight for it. And it’s worth the fight. “People who’ve found their calling have a fire about them,” 

It may sound crazy. It may even feel like a lost cause, but if you believe in it a little more, you may just find where you were meant to be, and follow that path with a passion unrivaled.

It is hard sometimes to arrive at the intersection the Venn Diagram speaks of. One can only get there after many tears have been shed and sacrifices  made. You may have to sometimes give up everything that you worked so hard for, only to follow that dream, that purpose. I came across an Instagram account of a famous Yoga instructor who was once a Banking Executive, but ended up giving up her career to follow her calling in Yoga. She is now a renowned instructor in Thailand and just opened up her own Yoga studio where she plans to teach (holistic) Yoga.

“Finding your calling — it’s not passive,” …. “When people have found their calling, they’ve made tough decisions and sacrifices in order to do the work they were meant to do.”

I found the 7 lessons, taken from Isay’s book, Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work very interesting. I am at a stage, late in life (people may laugh here), where I am adamant about doing what I was”meant” to do, not what I “wanted” to. As a result, I threw myself out of a secure, well paying job, and have taken on a number of non-monetary engagements that I enjoy working on (answer to those who have asked, “So what do you sitting at home all day?”) Yes, I have identified what it is that I’m good at and how I can impact peoples lives with it , knowing my efforts will be appreciated, but I’m still waiting for that “nudge“.

Have a look at his 7 lessons in brief and see how well you can relate to them:

  1. Your calling is at the intersection of a Venn diagram of three things: doing something you’re good at, feeling appreciated, and believing your work is making people’s lives better.
  2. Your calling often comes out of difficult experiences.
  3. Calling often takes courage and ruffles feathers.
  4. Other people often nudge you toward calling.
  5. What comes after identifying your calling is what really matters.
  6. Age is irrelevant.
  7. Calling often doesn’t come with a big paycheck.

To read the complete article follow this link..


 The second piece of work was a TEDTalk by Lidia Yuknavitch entitled “The Beauty of being a Misfit“.

A Misfit – a strong word, isn’t it?

According to Google, the definition of a Misfit is: a person whose behavior or attitude sets them apart from others in an uncomfortably conspicuous way. (Okay, we shall leave out the “uncomfortably conspicuous way” part).

So, would you consider yourself a Misfit? I know I am. I have always felt out-of-place when it comes to people, career paths, society, life itself. I have always been known to be the one who will make the most bizarre choices, who will chose the most unusual things to say to people, and who will decide to do things in the most uncanny ways.

Don’t get me wrong. I pride myself on being “different”. But sometimes, when people regard you as a “misfit” and a rebel, it is hard to make them understand that you do not do these things intentionally. They are inbred. Maybe our backgrounds fashioned our thinking patterns. Maybe somewhere along the line we messed up because we did not know better.

Linda speaks of a “sense of shame” that we carry with us on being non-conforming. She says:

You see, I’m trying to tell you something about people like me. Misfit people — we don’t always know how to hope or say yes or choose the big thing, even when it’s right in front of us. It’s a shame we carry. It’s the shame of wanting something good. It’s the shame of feeling something good. It’s the shame of not really believing we deserve to be in the room with the people we admire.

This sense of shame comes with being different. It is a price, we feel that we have to pay for not being like everyone else. So we believe ourselves to be non-deserving of all the good that may actually come our way. My life coach and mentor said this to me: She said that people see me as deserving and having the ability to overcome the challenges life/they put forward.

But for some reason, I chose not to see this. It’s because I know that I am different. That it has taken me a lot of pain and tears to become this “deserving” and “able” being who didn’t follow the rules, and so doesn’t deserve to win the prize.

Linda ends her talk with a beautiful thought on how to accept ourselves for the way we are, and allow ourselves to move forward in life, just the way we are:

Even at the moment of your failure, right then, you are beautiful. You don’t know it yet, but you have the ability to reinvent yourself endlessly. That’s your beauty.

Watch her TedTalk here.

I found both these write-up and TedTalk very inspiring. I hope they manage to inspire you to0, be it in finding your calling, or simply accepting that sometimes you don’t really have to “Fit in” to “Fit-into“.

Thanks for reading!


“Sometimes telling the story is the thing that saves your life.”


 *Images are property of their rightful owners



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